Monday, July 30, 2007
Back from the blogher '07 conference in Shy Town, and lemmee tell youz, it was a thing of beauty. Chicks. Brainy chicks everywhere who blog, are thinkin about blogging, or want to learn more about blogging.
A heady experience it was, and one of my favorite presentations was held by 4 women -- 2 African, one Indian, and one from Bahrain -- who spoke about the use of reactionary blogging (blogging that's done to remark upon specific socio-political issues) in their lives and countries.
Amazing that the social expression we take for granted -- Internet Weblogs -- is often blocked by other governments, sometimes because of the very business agreements that bring the tech to their countries.
Blogging about social injustice can be dangerous in some parts of the world, although it seems being a woman offers some small protection, as the women running the workshop knew of cases where male bloggers were arrested, but not women bloggers. But the women often have to go underground, or blog about carefully selected topics in fits and starts; they choose their battles carefully to avoid trouble befalling themselves or families if their governments become too "annoyed" by their persistence in letting the world know that all is not as it seems.
Women with blogs -- as women throughout history have managed to do against great opposition -- can move not just mountains, but continents, as it were. And to be among hundreds of women who use their blogs to promote social equity is empowering in itself. It made me happy to know that women who a) have more energy to do it, and 2. are way better at it than I, are out there changing the world.
So this was blogher '07, a consortium of women making differences in the lives of many in ways big and small. The conference had everything: informative workshops, stimulating environment in which to learn and interact, and great food and digs -- all of it organized in that way women are soooooo very adept at.
So kudos to blogher and it's co-founders -- women so impressive their bios make my brain fry with envy, yet whom you can't even make yourself trip accidentally when you meet them, cause they're just good people -- Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort, and Jory Des Jardins! You rock, Bellas, and so does blogher.
But, if I may give one teeeny tiny suggestion, ladies. Well, it's just that there was one thing in which I found the conference sorely lacking:
Hot guys in wet swimsuits.
OK, so some women might find that statement outrageous -- if they never hung with us here at RBtheBlog or had the rare privilege that is meeting me and hearing the particular way I embrace feminism -- especially given the fact that blogher conferences started because women in Silicon Valley realized the workshops at the tech conferences they attended were run by mostly men. And if women did run them, it was always the same few.
Gender inequity aside, I was dying for even a whiff of testosterone after Day 1. So I thought maybe next year, blogher might want to invite as one of its spotlighted sponsors, AussieBum.
Now, some might find that suggestion -- as well as the broadband videos I got sidetracked watching while searching AussieBum.com for appropriate g-eye candy -- de classe. Perhaps I could be considered the same for suggesting it. Gulp! Someone might even suggest I'd be setting back feminism, or something, especially if I share that my favorite video (of this totally hawt skull-trimmed boy) is titled (WARNING: CHEESY TITLE THAT OBJECTIFIES MEN FOLLOWS),"Men are Just Sexual Objects to Abuse."
Anywayz, having some AussieBum boys -- you know what I mean -- at next years' blogher conference wouldn't be anathema to the goals, because it wouldn't be like they'd be speakers or anything. For Gawd's sake, it's better if they don't speak at all.
Oh, dear. Now I think I've gone and encouraged the silencing of men's voices. Don't get me wrong --some of my best friends are men. I'm only suggesting we don't encourage the pretty young ones to speak, just to avoid possible disappointment.
So, Bellas, I encourage you to visit blogher every day, to add it to your blog roll, and to support your favorite blogs within. Don't forget to add your blogs there, too! I think there's a dearth of romance fiction-related blogs the blogher staff might like to see filled. :)
So, a little Free-for-All today: Ask and I shall answer your questions about blogher '07; tell me what you're reading; Ask me what I've been reading, cause, believe u me, after discussing so much serious stuff for a couple days, I glommed a little romance when I got home.
Encore! Congratulazione, mshellion! You've won a Krispy Kreme/Dunkies' six-pack of hot, moist n' sweet romance. Send me your snail mail at mbuonfiglio@RBtheBook.com.
Encore due! Ciao, Kyong, and the Microsoft pr women who were kind enough to let me hang with em -- and asked so many great questions about why romance fiction is awesome. Your package of promised romances will be on the way soon, and I hope you'll check in with us to tell us how you liked 'em. Keeping Microsoft workers in "Happily Ever Afters." Just my little way of thanking Bill and Melinda Gates for their generous philanthropy worldwide.
Encore tre! Ooo, I likes this last one. Very dirty. And his briefs say, "Property of USA." Luvs us some Made in America, don't we, Bellas?
Posted by Michelle Buonfiglio at 10:03 AM